We are a group of management consultants who believe passionately that excellent governance and management are essential for civil society organisations to maximise their impact.
We are motivated by a desire to make a substantial contribution to the governance and management of the wider civil society sector. We write and lecture about governance and management and make our knowledge widely available.
Whilst we have backgrounds in the private, public and voluntary sectors, we share a common body of knowledge about the special characteristics of governing and managing civil society organisations.
We often work in pairs because we know that strong internal challenge and top quality supervision are essential for delivering the greatest possible value for our clients.
Founder and Director
Mike has worked as a consultant to the Chairs and Chief Executives of civil society organisations for over 30 years. He worked as a business consultant before establishing Compass Partnership.
His book ‘Managing Without Profit’ has become the leading text book on governing and managing civil society organisations.
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Mike Hudson worked for Friends of the Earth as a business consultant and subsequently as Administrative Director.
Following an MBA from London Business School he worked as a Management Consultant with the Addison Group in the UK and the USA.
He began doing consultancy assignments for the Chairs and Chief Executives of disability organisations and subsequently established Compass Partnership as a group of consultants working with civil society organisations and their funders.
Mike has undertaken assignments for many of the top 500 UK charities and played an innovative role in the sector, introducing and popularising strategic planning and benchmarking and more recently developing new approaches to reviewing board performance.
Mike has been a Visiting Fellow at Cass Business School where he led major studies on the governance and management of UK charities.
His book Managing Without Profit (Fourth Edition Directory of Social Change, 2017) has sold 23,000 copies, been translated into three languages and published in an Australian edition.
Mike was a member of the Board of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education and Chair of its Audit Committee. He is currently Chair of the Farm Animal Welfare Forum.
Clients he has worked for include: Action for Children, Woodland Trust, WWF, the Royal British Legion, Christian Aid, British Red Cross, Stroke Association and London Marathon.
George has worked in the voluntary sector as a consultant, senior manager and trustee for over 25 years, ten of those as Chief Executive of the Motor Neurone Disease Association.
He has been consulting to leaders in the voluntary, public and private sectors on strategy, governance and leadership effectiveness since 2005.
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George was chief executive of the Motor Neurone Disease Association, leading it through a period of rapid change and growth to become a widely recognised and respected charity.
George’s clients at Compass Partnership have included the British Veterinary Association, City & Guilds, Comic Relief, the International Livestock Research Institute, RSPCA and Versus Arthritis (formerly Arthritis Research UK).
George is also a Principal Consultant at the Centre for Charity Effectiveness at Cass Business School, where he teaches on leadership programmes. He has taught at Oxford University and Ashridge Business School. He has held a number of trusteeships and is currently chair of Rewilding Britain.
Jacinta has 25 years’ experience in market research, specialising in quantitative surveys for the public and voluntary sectors.
Formerly a Senior Associate Director with BMRB International, a top six market research agency, Jacinta provides expertise in all aspects of research.
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Jacinta has worked as a researcher in the public and voluntary sectors for over 25 years.
Jacinta has worked for Compass since 2003 and in that time has been involved in all stages of research consultancy. She has done board performance reviews with a diverse range of clients including UnLtd and the Disasters Emergency Committee.
She has also played a significant part in Compass Partnership’s contribution to landmark strategic research for armed forces charities sector. Clients include the Royal British Legion, SSAFA, RAF Benevolent Fund among others. Several projects led to published reports, which produced new insights into the health and welfare of the ex-Service community.
From 1992 to 2001 Jacinta worked for BMRB International, where she specialised in managing research for the public and not for profit sectors. Her work crime, citizenship, racial discrimination, employment, health and benefits. Her experience in the voluntary and charity sector has included both policy-related studies and supporter opinion research.
Jacinta holds the Market Research Society Diploma, entitling her to full membership of the Market Research Society (MRS).
She has been a trustee of Thames Hospice since 2013.
Debbie Emerson has worked for Compass Partnership since 1989. She is the business manager responsible for all administration and financial work and gives project support to our consultants.
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Debbie is part of the team on all governance reviews. She administers questionnaires, inputs data and presents findings to the consultants.
Dr Sally Malam
Sally has 23 years’ experience in social research, specialising in quantitative surveys for the public and voluntary sectors.
A Research Director with top research agency TNS BMRB until 2013, Sally offers expertise at all stages of the research process.
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Until 2013, she was a Research Director with TNS BMRB, with responsibility for developing new business and thought leadership, and designing, running and reporting on a wide range of research projects. Her key focus was on complex and challenging research design. This included leading the teams that ran the first national survey of people with learning disabilities for the Department of Health, and a national survey to assess people’s ability to understand front of pack nutrition labelling for the Food Standards Agency.
Sally has particular expertise in insight and communications research, ranging from customer service research for HMRC, through to evaluation of public sector social marketing.
Sally has worked as a research consultant since 2014, including a key role on Compass projects for the Royal British Legion and the RAF Benevolent Fund.
Sheila Cahill has worked in the non-profit sector in Ireland and the UK for the last 30 years, with a particular focus on governance.
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Since 2008, she has been providing training and consultancy services to a range of non-profit clients in Ireland. As Director of Training and Support Services at Carmichael Centre from 2000 – 2007, she provided a governance and management training programme and individualised support to the boards and staff of non-profit organisations.
She was a member of the working group that developed the Code of Practice for Good Governance of Community, Voluntary and Charitable Organisations in Ireland (2012) and worked with the Charity Regulator in the production of the Irish Charities Governance Code (2018).
She currently works with clients in the areas of governance training and development, board performance reviews and strategic planning and clients include: Active Retirement Network Ireland, Catholic Institute of Deaf People, Crumlin Medical Research Foundation, Dublin Pride, Irish Council of Prisoners Overseas, MS Ireland and The Wheel.
She holds an MSc in Voluntary Sector Organisation from the London School of Economics.
Since 2008, she has been providing training and consultancy services to a range of non-profit clients in Ireland.